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07-07-2015, 10:25   #1
 
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best type of shoes for walking on smooth wet rocks

I've been walking on smooth rock exposed because the river is low. When it's wet it's quite slippy. Converse fared okay, even with worn down soles. Didn't trust them though because they can be slippy. Switched to my hiking boots the next day, which have hard rubber Vibram soles. Saw Vibram soles recommended in a couple of places discussing the same thing - they were disastrous in my case. Great for muddy conditions, definitely not suitable for wet smooth rock though.

Boat shoes would seem to make the most sense (if they're designed for purpose and not for style, I'm guessing it might be the latter with most). So I'm thinking fairly flat soft rubber soles might work the best- maybe Converse are a good choice. Basketball courts are similar sorts of surfaces I guess. Fairly short route; just a few km, so support and ruggedness not too big a deal.

Any experience/insights?

Last edited by blatantrereg; 07-07-2015 at 14:59.
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07-07-2015, 11:52   #2
 
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After a while you tend to be suspicious of wet rock as the grip varies a lot. Depends too on type of rock - granite usually has good grip, limestone would be slippy. Rock that is regularly washed clean by fast flowing water mostly affords good grip but you can be easily caught by rocks that have algae etc. growing on them, which your foot will shoot off. In the old days, people wore nailed boots - standard leather soles with various nails like clinkers hammered into them. I reckon they'd be your man for regularly walking on wet rock, though they'd wear down. You can probably still pick up such nails if you look around on the web.

Then there's rocks in winter which just look wet but are covered in a thin veneer of ice - particularly tricky when hopping across a stream!
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07-07-2015, 12:07   #3
Alun
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Not that I fully understand why anyone would want to do such a thing in the first place, seeing as the only bad falls I've ever had while out hillwalking have been when stepping on rocks while crossing rivers, but I'd say the main problem would be one of contact area. Walking boots would have soles with varying degrees of rigidity, and would have 'knobbly' tread patterns for grip on grass or soil or rougher, more grippy rocks which work quite well in these circumstances. On the smoother boulders like you'd find in upland streams though, such soles would work against you and you'd have very little surface area contact between boot and rock.

One possible idea, and I have no personal experience of these at all, would be to try some of the 'shoes' on offer here ...

http://www.barefoot.ie/

Vibram "five fingers" are the only ones I've heard of myself, but there are others there that seem very similar. The advantage of most of these would be that there's no rigid sole as such, and I'd imagine that this would mean your foot would mould itself to the shape of the rock better and therefore provide more grip.

Again, this is pure conjecture on my part, but seems worth a try.
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07-07-2015, 12:11   #4
vandriver
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I don't even know why I'm replying on this thread,seeing as I wouldn't walk to the shops!But I do remember awful useless info,and I vaguely recall felt being the best thing for slippy rocks.

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07-07-2015, 12:18   #5
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Wading boots seem to come with felt or a special type of vibram soles, so maybe vandriver is on to something

I'd ask in an angling store.

e.g. http://www.cabelas.com/category/Mens.../103896180.uts

Last edited by hmmm; 07-07-2015 at 12:23.
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07-07-2015, 12:19   #6
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Also I'd be trying to find out what people into stuff like canyoning and coasteering wear on their feet as they'd have similar problems.
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07-07-2015, 12:34   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandriver View Post
I don't even know why I'm replying on this thread,seeing as I wouldn't walk to the shops!But I do remember awful useless info,and I vaguely recall felt being the best thing for slippy rocks.

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That's interesting and has pointed me in the right direction I think, which is to look at what grips are used on waders. I won't get felt soles though because apparently they are a primary means of didymo being spread, which is also called rock snot - a name which describes why it's not a good thing to spread. (Felt soles are banned in the USA for this reason, in fact.)

Not sure what type of rock it is. Dark and smooth. Not granite anyway.

Last edited by blatantrereg; 07-07-2015 at 13:52. Reason: quoted wrong post
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07-07-2015, 14:09   #8
Gasherbraun
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For what it is worth I use both Vibram soles and also a shoe with a sole made from a product called 'stealth rubber' and I find the stealth rubber excellent on wet rock. I think it is a proprietry product of the US manufacturer 5:10 and available on a lot of their footwear.

As other have said though best to avoid the the wet rock if possible!
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07-07-2015, 14:50   #9
 
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I walk across wet rocks everyday, I wade two streams and walk on wet seaweed covered rocks on the sea shore walking the dogs and cheap soft toe wellies seem to be as good as anything. Some rocks will be so slippery when wet nothing will grip on them, a few falls and you get to know which ones are to be avoided.
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07-07-2015, 15:26   #10
 
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See http://innovation-for-extremes.net/g...cons/tricouni/ and note

"Nails took slime, lichen, wet rock, moss, seaweed and verglas in their stride and indeed held their own in Scotland for some years."
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07-07-2015, 16:50   #11
 
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See http://innovation-for-extremes.net/g...cons/tricouni/ and note

"Nails took slime, lichen, wet rock, moss, seaweed and verglas in their stride and indeed held their own in Scotland for some years."
I don't think the OP is doing a historic reenactment?
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07-07-2015, 16:53   #12
fergusb
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What we use in Canyoning which does involve walking on lots of smooth wet rocks are shoes like this:
http://fiveten.com/products/footwear...oneer-3-yellow

They are neoprene upper for warmth and protection, and with a Vibram rubber sole.
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07-07-2015, 21:33   #13
 
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Originally Posted by my3cents View Post
I don't think the OP is doing a historic reenactment?
True, but you can still buy hob nailed boots - I'm not sure where you could get 'tricouni' nails now. But I seem to recall that places like the Great Outdoors sold these sort of things back in the 1970s - so not that long ago at all.
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12-07-2015, 12:23   #14
W1ll1s
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These guys have some good Canyoneering gear.

http://www.bergfreunde.co.uk/watersport-shoes/for--men/
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